Showing 1 - 25 of 241 comments
I’m betting this photo is not of the Capitol, but of the Rialto next door. Overhanging marquee and bottom of what appears to be a vertical blade sign, the last letter of which could be an “O.”
Is anyone certain of the official name of this drive-in, whether it was “Arapaho Drive-In Theatre” or “Arapaho Road Drive-In Theatre”? I’ve seen both in print (see 1963 Dallas News Ad I just posted), but noticed no “Rd” or “Road” on the photo of the screen tower.
jamestv, the intro for the Melba/Capri, if that’s where your info comes from, contains an error: it incorrectly states that Interstate took over this theatre and renamed it Melba; Loew’s was the second owner, taking over in 1922 from First National Pictures and their financial backer from Houston, Jesse Jones, whose mistress – First National Pictures star Hope Hampton – Jones named the theatre for. Loew’s renamed it Melba upon assuming the lease on the property from First National. Interstate assumed the lease in about 1939 or ‘40. McLendon took control under the Trans-Texas banner in 1960 and renamed it Capri. Loew’s takeover of the Delman from its original developer/owner (also from Houston, where he had originally built and operated another Delman) post-dated McLendon’s takeover of the Melba by a decade or more.
Bryan’s intro on this theatre contains an error: it incorrectly states that Interstate took over this theatre and renamed it Melba; Loew’s was the second owner, taking over in 1922 from First National Pictures and their financial backer from Houston, Jesse Jones, whose mistress – First National Pictures star Hope Hampton, Jones named the theatre for. Loew’s renamed it Melba. Interstate assumed the lease in about 1939 or ‘40.
Ha-ha, no, of course not, hdtv267!
Seriously, the person posting as dallasmovietheaters has done a tremendous job of documentation on theatres throughout the Dallas area, and also with photos. As far as I can tell he (I guess, maybe she) is usually spot-on with facts. That’s why this one snagged me. I thought I knew everything about the Casa Linda…still think so!
I question dallasmovietheaters' assertion that Bart McLendon sold the Casa Linda to Interstate; if that were so, there would be some evidence such as, among the more easily verified, the C-L’s name grouped with those of other Interstate theatres' in the entertainment section of the DMN and the DTH. I don’t believe that was ever the case. A quick check of the DMN archives by anyone who has a NewsBank subscription should clear this up.
jamestv, I’m glad you posted this comment about the projection booth and its angle to the screen, because I remembered that from the one and only time I was ever in the Coronet (as I believe it was still called at that time) – which was to see a revival of “Ben-Hur” in a perfect print (I’m guessing it was a 35mm anamorphic job). There were parts of the picture that were slightly out of focus, I believe over on the far right-hand side, but it did not seem to detract from our enjoyment of the film. As I recall, the place was packed – this was in the summer of 1977.
jamestv, do you know anything about the Auto-Vista Drive-In owned by Mr. Rodriguez and referred to in the Boxoffice article posted by Tinseltoes? I had never heard of this theatre before reading this article. I don’t think it ever advertised in the Dallas papers, at least not consistently.
Oct 16, 1948 issue of Boxoffice states that the “new” Plaza, to be opened on McKinney near Haskell, has a target opening of December, 1948. Owner is listed as M.S. White, “well-known showman and businessman…”
Very interesting, Joe – thanks for reposting!
Can anyone comment on when the Melba vertical sign came down? It was still up as late as 1942.
drivein2001, I think you’re talking about three different Jefferson/SR 180 (the twin highways) drive-ins; the Jefferson Drive-In is the farthest east, in Oak Cliff. It was located on Jefferson Ave. and was always a single-screen, never a twin.
Moving along Jefferson toward Grand Prairie, you then come to the Twin Highways, originally a single-screen between the highways with entrances from either; eventually this one was twinned, giving its name a dual meaning, by simply building another screen/projection room on the lot immediately to the east. After being twinned, this theatre was advertised simply as the Twin Drive-In. It was never (officially, at least) named the Jefferson Twin, though that might have been a local casual reference, i.e. “the Twin on Jefferson.”
Continuing toward Grand Prairie, you then came to the East Main, originally built as the Chisholm Trail.
Finally, considerably farther into town, you’d come to the Century 4, originally built as the single-screen Downs.
The McLendons did, as you said, eventually acquire the Twin Highways, the Chisholm Trail, and the Downs. They advertised the Twin Highways as the Twin; the Chisholm Trail as the East Main; and the Downs as the Century 4.
glasspolish, you are so right about direction – east is right and west is left!
This theatre also hosts, in conjunction with Fathom Events and/or Turner Classic Movies, a Classic Films Series that features digitally-restored classic films, projected via a digital nation-wide feed; some auditoriums have had the screens enlarged so that they are almost wall-to-wall, and floor-to-ceiling, yet the Cinemark website does not list this venue as having their Next-Gen or XD auditoriums yet.
At any rate, projection and sound are absolutely first-rate.
Drive-In 1954: I plan to, as soon as I nail down the street address; of course, if you have that info, go ahead and establish a page. It can always be added to as more info comes in.
I plan to add the Fiesta (McAllen), the Buckhorn (Mission), the Pan Am (Edinburg), and another Edinburg Drive-In for which, so far, I can find no name but which was located in an orange grove east of town on SH 107. Drove past all these locations yesterday.
Chuck, funny story about the Valley (1971-2001). We had just moved to McAllen and it was still open; all that first year, I said “we’ve got to take the kids to a drive-in.” Never did.
One Saturday, we have to drive right past it to do some shopping in Mission. In fact, the freeway entrance is right by the drive-in. “Jurassic Park 3” is on the marquee. My wife and I agree “tonight’s the night.”
We tell the kids, and they’re all excited. Shopping in Mission takes all morning and all afternoon. We’re driving back home. We miss the exit – because the drive-in is gone! One morning & afternoon was all it took!
jwmovies: I now believe the address you gave for the Palms (and the drive-in I refer to in my post of 12:19 pm, above) is actually for the Fiesta, for which no page currently exists.
I have it on local (McAllen) authority that the Palms was located at the corner of Nolana and N. 10th St. (SH 336). That would put it in the 78501 zip code given in the address at the top of the page. I don’t know what the exact street address number was.
mr92849: do you have any memory of a small drive-in theatre located in the middle of a small orchard that is clearly visible in the 1961 view of the intersection of E. University Dr. (SH 107) and S. Raul Longoria Rd. on Historic Aerials?
Chuck1231, any mention of this small drive-in in “The Book”?
My wife and I go to the Wes-Mer at least once a summer. Nice place, clean, with a good concession stand, good projection and a good family crowd that enjoys first-run double-features.
Looks like the Santa Cruz Daycare Center is in the building next to the old Rio, but does not occupy the Rio itself.
There is a flea market there now. From the air, you can see the flea market occupies the exact footprint of the old drive-in, as clearly seen in the google maps view.
Historic Aerials' latest view of the intersection of Henderson and Capitol showing the theatre building is 1958; next view is 1972, and the building is gone.
4826 Lemmon Ave. maps the Delman to have fronted on Lemmon – it was actually about a block off Lemmon at the intersection of King’s Rd. with Raleigh.
Go by the address listed in the ad (Lemmon at Raleigh) to find the building on HistoricAerials; unfortunately, that address will not map properly on GoogleMaps because, although Raleigh still exists as a roadbed, it is now a passageway through the parking lot of an auto dealership.
A new street, which cuts off from King’s Rd. at an angle to the original Raleigh, now carries that name.
Since this theatre closed as the Fine Arts (name changed from Varsity about 1957), it should really be listed as Fine Arts, with Varsity as an aka.
Chuck, I sure don’t. Sorry.